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Old 07-28-2014, 07:39 AM   #1
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Dehydrator info please

On the suggestion of many here I bought and finally started using my Vitamix - love love LOVE IT! I'm getting so many more veggies into my diet as a result. Thanks for your encouragement.
So now I've been reading hours of past threads on dehydrators wondering if I would really use one if I take the plunge and I'm again asking for your input. I don't have a garden (except for herbs) so I don't have an abundance of "free" veggies. I'd have to buy them to dehydrate them.
I see that some dry veggies for soups and wonder why you don't just use fresh veggies instead? Do they taste better if dehydrated first?
I use a lot of Costco's dried tomatoes in olive oil and wonder if buying tomatoes and dehydrating them would be a cost savings?
I'm trying to wean myself off of corn chips and wonder if zuc chips are a good substitute?
I don't eat jerky now, so I doubt that I would make it if I had a dehydrator.
Finally, I'm on a budget and cant afford a high-end one.
Your advice and suggestions please.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:21 AM   #2
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I do have a high-end one, an Excalibur, and it's money well-spent. It has variable heat and 9 good-sized square trays.

The dried veggies are nice to have on hand - I vacuum-seal them and add them to soups, dips, pilaf (either quinoa or sprouted brown rice) and the like. Also, kale chips dehydrated in there are DIVINE! DH and I love those. Have also done zucchini and yellow squash "chips" and they're quite good as well.

Visit the Excalibur website for recipes and ideas, if you get a chance. Also there are all kinds of blogs and websites with lots of great things you can do with a dehydrator. I actually started off with an inexpensive Nesco Snackmaster (around $40-$50) to see if I'd really use a dehydrator. When the answer to that became YES - I bought the better one. I had the Snackmaster FD-35 and chose that because the motor/fan was in the top, not the bottom where stuff drips on it.

I think you can pick up an Excalibur for around $199 but check their website for specials, and I think they also occasionally have factory refurbs - you could email or call them and inquire about that, if you're interested in a nice-sized dehydrator.

Oh yeah, we also sprout hard red winter wheat, then dehydrate it, to use for our sprouted wheat bread. Doesn't seem to cause DH any blood sugar issues.

I've made jerky lots of times, and we found that we prefer the stuff made with ground meats, so I also bought a jerky cannon to extrude the stuff onto the trays. Salmon jerky is killer good too and DH's favorite.

Recently I started making homemade yogurt, using half & half, and I use the dehydrator to incubate it for 8 hours. It works perfectly!
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Last edited by Charski; 07-28-2014 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:55 PM   #3
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I also have the Excalibur and love it but I had a little ole Nesco round one (much cheaper) that served me well for years.

The best general low carb populations uses that I come up with are

jerky
dehydrator Doritos
dehydrator cinnamon chips/ cereal
kale chips
drying out oopsie rolls so you can store them in a bag in the fridge
powdered dehydrated veggies (tomatoes, peppers especially) to flavor the Doritos (you can buy several pepper powders in the spice aisle but I've never seen tomato)

I wouldn't go to the troble to dehydrate veggies to make soup unless you garden or a bunch are given to you and they are going to spoil.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:55 PM   #4
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Thanks Jen and Char! The more I read the more interested in a dehydrator I've become. I'm now semi-retired and have more time to take care of my health. I'm enjoying trying all the great ideas, recipies, and advice on this board. please keep 'em comming. I've learned so much from you all.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:57 AM   #5
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I usa the "Guide Gear" 10-shelf all stainless steel dehydrator that Sportsman's Guide has offered for years. I bought it when it was around $180. They're closer to $200 last time I looked. But it works very well.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
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I also have the Excalibur and love it. I grow a garden and herbs every year so I do alot of dehydrating with that. I bought a stevia plant this year and have been drying it's leaves, working great. I also sprout wheat berries, dry them and then grind my own flour. Do this for none lc people in my family. There's lots you can do with a dehydrator, check out the youtube channels lots to learn there also.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for your input. I'm off to you tube! Wondering if it seems most everyone dries fruit - which I can't eat much of? The tomatoes have a lot of appeal to me. Thanks again!
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:25 PM   #8
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Hawk, my parents had one my Dad built. A big old thing. They grew a huge garden every year. But, you can dehydrate just about anything. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, jerky or meat. Just about anything. Have fun!
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